Enjoy England’s Southwest Coast

The Spanish, French and Italian Rivieras have long been among the most sought after destinations in the world for sun, sea and surf. While holidays to these glamorous hotspots offer you the chance to indulge in a bit of ‘me time’, it’s often not easy to pack up and travel to the Med on a whim. For those who wish to experience the best of the Mediterranean a little closer to home next year, why not consider exploring the sights and sounds of the English Riviera?

The 22-mile stretch of Devon coastline around Torbay is popularly known as England’s answer to the Mediterranean Rivieras, and with good reason. The English Riviera is the place to be in summer. Soak up the sun on golden beaches, explore hidden rocky coves, or try your hand at a range of exciting sporting activities including windsailing and scuba diving.

The vibrant towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham nestled around Torbay all feature a decidedly Mediterranean charm. Torquay’s bustling marina and central shopping district gives way to palm lined promenades that lead up into the green hills surrounding the town from where grand Victorian villas gaze invitingly out to sea.

Paignton’s lively waterfront and world famous pier will keep you entertained for hours. Let the kids splash around in the waterpark at Quaywest while you enjoy a round of crazy golf on Paignton’s green, or sip on a cocktail in one of the many seafront restaurants. For a change of pace, why not treat the whole family to a day at the Paignton Zoo, or learn more about the rich cultural heritage of the region in the many museums and galleries of each town?

Brixham’s appeal is tied closely to its status as one of England’s oldest fishing villages, and it is the ideal destination for those who wish to sample the best seafood dishes this side of Palermo. A replica of Sir Francis Drake’s flagship, the Golden Hind, also floats in Brixham’s harbour, offering the whole family a glimpse into the swashbuckling world of the 16th century with a range of exhibitions and exciting re-enactments.

Whatever your vacation requirements, the English Riviera is your ideal destination for UK holidays in 2011.

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